Tuesday and I haven’t worked yet this week. That’s my kind of Monday.
This weekend Doug and I left our pregnant wifes at home and spent two nights in Yosemite valley. It was a quick trip, giving us just one full day in the park, but the plan was to somehow find a “workaround” for the new trail permitting system the park has implemented for Half Dome climbers and summit Sunday. When we made our reservations over a year ago, there was no permit requirement for the cable ascent, and we’ve always been able to just go and summit. And by the time we learned of the new requirements the permits for this weekend had already sold out. So, we were apparently stuck.
My idea, however, was to go find out just how high you could climb sans permit. A couple questions to rangers and I learned that the permits are truly just to limit cable traffic (not Mist or Muir trail traffic to Happy Isles), and that you’re OK going as far as Sub Dome with a permit. This means you can post up right there in the saddle below the cables and wait for law-abiding permitted people to chicken out (I’ve seen it happen many times with folks who make it that far, I’d guess it’s something in the 40% of folks range). I queried two rangers and neither saw any issue with begging permits off those who’d given into fear and decided forgo the cables. So, if you’re willing to be a permit-vulture I think you could make a permitless day-ascent pretty easily.
But, I didn’t think the plan through until it was too late and we had already decided to just to a morning hike to the top of Nevada Falls. Even then we were asked three times by permit-checking roving rangers (I don’t think I imagined their heightened presence over years past) if we planned on summiting. So even though we didn’t summit, the hike was amazing (as it always is), the weather was fantastic, and the barbecue dinner along the Merced later that afternoon with friends was a perfect cap to the day.
The only thing missing from our Father’s Day was our wives and progeny.
As an added weekend bonus, about a third of the fruit on the plum tree was ready to pick before we left for Yosemite, so we grabbed that this evening with the help of the ladder.